Streets of London

Topics: River Thames, England, The Reader Pages: 2 (405 words) Published: May 12, 2005
Shannon McCaw
April 19, 2005
Instructor Severson
English 105

Streets of London
"London" by William Blake is an emotional setting of man who is going though something in his life and he has found himself walking through the streets of London. It leads readers to believe that something has happened in which led this man to go on a long walk along the Thames River. The last line of the poem, "And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse" tells the reader that something has happened between this man and his wife.

As this man is walking, he describes what he sees on people's faces. It's not a very upbeat description, "And mark in every face I meet….Mark of weakness, marks of woe." It's like since he is in this miserable place in his life that he thinks everyone else is sad and miserable too.

This poem makes the reader think about a deeper meaning. Blake has a way of using words to describe the situation in a more emotional sense. Through a man, a chimney-sweeper's and an infant's cry, it shows an inner pain he carries. But goes off when he mentions a blackening church and bloody palace walls. Makes you think that he's a confused person or that he is just setting his surroundings.

He compares a Harlot's curse to a new-born infant's tears, which gives the reader the impression that he always thinks the worst of every situation. But the last line of the poem makes you think he's going through something with his wife because he talks about a marriage hearse. A hearse represents death and so it could possibly mean the death of the marriage or the death of his wife in general.

Although he describes the marriage hearse, he talks about a mind-forged manacle that he hears in which doesn't fit in with the rest of the poem. Even though its sounds emotional but had nothing to do with the rest of the poem. This poem involves a man going through an emotional roller coaster of sorts. So it will come across differently to each reader. William Blake is great at...

Cited: Barnet, Sylvan, et al., eds. Literature for Composition. 7th ed. New York:
Longman, 2004, 52.
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